Field Hockey has summer plans to go to Bermuda

Hunter O. LyleSports Editor

While many student-athletes across the country spend their summer soaking in the sun and relaxing during the offseason, Southern’s field hockey team is venturing to the small island nation of Bermuda for team bonding.

Head coach Kelley Frassinelli said the team had been planning an excursion for a long time, and that it happening was long overdue.

“We had actually taken a trip to Barbados in 2003, so that was the last international tour- as we call it- that we took,” said Frassinelli. “NCAA regulations allow us one every four years, so technically every student athlete should be able to get that experience. [It’s] been something we’ve been trying to figure out how to get on the books for the past couple years, and it just kind of came about in conversation this past fall with, ‘Let’s figure out how this is going to work.’”

Junior goal keeper Brianna Craft said the team was given a selection of places and was able to vote on which country they wanted to visit.

“We had three options. I think we had Ireland, Bermuda and- I want to say- Scotland,” said Craft. “Honestly, it was probably the most cost-efficient place, just because it was maybe, like, half the price, and there’s, I think, nine players [and] three coaches going. So, fundraising wise, it was the easiest to fundraise for.”

Partnered up with an organization called Zag, which boosts the motto of “Travel, Play, Give Back” on their official website, the team will be taking part in a community service effort while also enjoying the warm sun and white beaches.

“We do our trips through Zag, and it is not only promoting field hockey but it’s promoting community service outreach, the stuff that we do,” said Frassinelli. “On this trip, we are going to be helping clean up some of the beaches to help, certainly, with the wildlife.” Throughout the year, the team has been raising money for their trip, which is estimated to cost around $3,000 per person, by hosting events and reaching out online.

“We got a GoFundMe, we’ve been doing, like, restaurant nights, Chipotle nights. We are doing a children’s book [for Zag],” said Craft. “I mean, we are really trying to get a dodgeball game or some sort of tournament that people could enter and pay money for a team and the proceeds go to us. The GoFundMe has been a really big fundraiser for us though, a lot of people have been donating.”

Along with the community service, the team also created a children’s book featuring Zag mascot Zag the Zonkey. Frassinelli said part of the goal of the trip is to help welcome freshmen and new players to the team in a stress-free atmosphere where they can adjust.

“As a fall sport, coming in it’s very difficult, especially for our incoming class- the freshmen class- because they’re jumping into everything. It’s meeting new people, it’s being in a new place, it’s starting classes. They don’t have as much of an adjustment period,” said Frassinelli, “so, this will actually be a great bonding experience for them. A great cultural learning experience that will give them the opportunity to get to know each other as people, and not just as necessarily players and athletes.”

Craft said that having this much time together will help form bonds between the players and coaches on a more personal level.

“I think it’ll benefit us a lot for the team bonding aspect. You’re in a different country, you’re with each other 24/7, but I think we’ll also work on seeing each other off the field,” said Craft. “Seeing each other like swimming, just us vulnerable. Just being ourselves and getting comfortable with each other. Hopefully that’ll translate to the field when we come back.”

The team is set to fly into Bermuda on Aug. 10 and will spend six days on the island, returning on Aug. 15.

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